Poised for Growth
February 27, 2023
Written By Adam Buckallew
MFA Oil Company declared it would pay $6.9 million in cash to its members in exchange for doing business with the cooperative during the company’s 93rd Annual Delegate Meeting on Dec. 12, 2022.
Nearly 300 elected representatives of the cooperative convened in Columbia, Mo., at the Holiday Inn Expo Center to receive reports on the company’s financial standing and operational performance and learn of the patronage disbursement approved by the MFA Oil Board of Directors.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Raetz presented the company’s fiscal results and informed delegates that the co-op’s balance sheet is strong. Raetz reported that the cooperative brought in $14.3 million in company-wide pre-tax earnings for its 2022 fiscal year. He said the $6.9 million cash payout to members includes $3.5 million of 2022 qualified patronage and a retirement of $3.4 million in member equity from 2008.
“Financially, MFA Oil is as healthy as ever,” Raetz said while noting the cooperative has returned $40.8 million in cash to its members over the last five years.
Jon Ihler, president and CEO, said the company exceeded earnings expectations thanks to contributions from employees in every division within the company.
“Across the board, we saw great performance during our 2022 fiscal year despite new challenges like surging inflation,” Ihler said.
Ihler told attendees that the company remains in a position of expansion. He views continued growth as essential and sees development opportunities in all divisions of the co-op.
“We want to find new ways to add value to your cooperative,” he said. “One of the ways we added value in 2022 was through strategic growth. Growth requires investment, which we think about in many ways, such as new assets, acquisitions, technology upgrades and workforce development. These investments are all about putting the cooperative’s money to work for you.”
Glen Cope, chairman of the MFA Oil Board of Directors, discussed how he and his fellow directors view growth goals.
“None of us want to be stagnant in our farms and businesses, and it is no different with MFA Oil,” Cope said. “Growth for growth’s sake is not what we are after. Acquisitions and expansion into new markets that make sense for the longevity of MFA Oil is our ultimate goal and the strategy that your board and senior management share as our roadmap.”
Cope said growth adds value to the company’s bottom line, allowing for greater patronage returns and retirement of member equities.
“It’s all about sharing our success,” he said. “We want to reward our farmer-owners for buying from the cooperative.”
MFA Oil members are eligible to receive patronage refunds based on a percentage of the total money they spend on products such as gasoline, diesel, propane and lubricants purchased through the company’s refined fuel and propane plants, as well as at Petro-Card 24 stations. Customers who are agricultural producers or owners of land used for agricultural production and who purchase at least $1,000 of product from MFA Oil during its fiscal year (Sept. 1 through Aug. 31) are eligible for membership in the cooperative.